Arlington National Cemetery – Amphitheater
For those of you who have visited this website often, you know the love and admiration I have for Arlington National Cemetery and since June of 2010 with the new management, things have gotten so much better!
Over the last decade plus, the hours which I’ve walked and worked among those acres of heroes at rest are countless, but each time it’s a place that I welcome to visit time and time again.
I spent St. Patrick’s Day 2013 in a very unusual and festive way… It was truly an honor to be selected to photograph the change of responsibility and retirement of an US Army Airborne Ranger … at the Amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery. When President Woodrow Wilson dedicated it in May of 1920, it became a place where special events happen. These include: Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday, Memorial Day remembrance in May and honoring those who served in November on Veterans’ Day. It would be later that year in 1920 that the first Unknown Soldier would be interred.
But back to the historic event … it was a first … a first time that such an event would happen, where the echoes of great events still resonate within the marble structure. On 17 MAR 2013… new echoes would join them…
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Posted 2 months ago at 10:08 am. 1 comment
“Now let me make it clear that I believe there can only be one defense policy for the United States and that is summed up in the word ‘first.’ I do not mean first, but. I do not mean first, when. I do not mean first, if. I mean first –period.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
35th President of the United States
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Posted 1 year ago at 6:29 am. 2 comments
“There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy
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Posted 1 year, 4 months ago at 6:36 am. Add a comment
Eternal Flame at President Kennedy's Grave
25 NOV 1963 - The world was focused on Washington DC and Arlington National Cemetery, for the United States of America was paying final honors to it’s fallen President.
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Posted 1 year, 6 months ago at 12:13 pm. Add a comment
Fort Bragg, NC - An historic meeting occurred that changed the US military – specifically the US Army forever. For it was on this day, 12 OCT 1961 a visit was arranged that forged a lasting effect that continues until this day - Presidential validation of the Special Forces – “The Green Berets”
To understand the history though, one must look back nearly 200 years before, one state south and consider “The Swamp Fox”…
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Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 1:25 pm. 2 comments
“We in this country, in this generation, are-by destiny rather than choice-the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.”
- John F. Kennedy
The speech was never delivered as the “Watchman” was assasinated on 22 NOV 1963 on his way to the “walls”.
Posted 3 years, 11 months ago at 6:56 pm. Add a comment
A few weeks ago, I was whisked down to Fort Bragg for a ceremony that is rare and another that occurs several times a year. It always invigorates me when I see these events to know that there are soldiers who are ready, willing and able to defend the freedoms that many in the United States take for granted.
Most of us are too busy trying to figure out what movie we’re going to see, where we’re going to have dinner or planning that vacation. Too few are aware of the sacrifice and dedication of those who have volunteered to abide by a simple creed of “DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY” that in 1962 General Douglas MacArthur included in his speech delivered at West Point, NY at the US Military Academy.
There are also misconceptions and misperceptions that abound out there and frankly, until I was informed and educated by my core advisory / mentor group (which continues to grow mind you.) I truly had some similar ideas about how the military does things and protects our freedoms. Those ideas have been put aside as I became more knowledgeable and spent many hours with the soldiers understanding just what they go through on a day-to-day basis, while probing and tapping into my network.
Recently, I was asked to join a group ’cause it’s “less intense than Special Forces” which prompted this focus. I sensed that the person suggesting that I join didn’t really understand what the US Army Special Forces is all about. Yes, they are soldiers who will take up arms and eliminate threats. BUT and there’s a DIFFERENCE – A BIG DIFFERENCE!
They are not the “commandos” that many people think they are. Yes they have special skills that are imparted and honed, which is why they are “SPECIAL FORCES” – these may include additional language skills, medical training, psychological skills, etc. for their mission is “To Free the Oppressed” = De Oppresso Liber. NOT through force, but by working with the people and winning their acceptance to help them help themselves. The SF are “force multipliers” teams of 5 or up to 10 may be inserted in to initiate and successfully complete this “unconventional warfare” = Teaching the people how to defend themselves from oppression. Transferring the skills that the SF soldier spends weeks and weeks aquiring and learning to utilize -honing them over the years.
The SF motto, from what I have researched is drawn from a quote by St. Augustine’s Confessions which includes:
“The turbulent have to be corrected,
The faint-hearted cheered up,
The weak supported;
The Gospel’s opponents need to be refuted,
Its insidious enemies guarded against;
The unlearned need to be taught,
The indolent stirred up,
The argumentative checked;
The proud must be put in their place,
The desperate set on their feet,
Those engaged in quarrels reconciled;
The needy have to be helped,
The oppressed to be liberated,
The good to be encouraged,
The bad to be tolerated;
All must be loved,”
And this is what they do … Not Commandos, but Special Forces. Just like President John F. Kennedy’s reaction to the display of their skills on 12 OCT 1961 “They truly are Special…”
Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 11:00 pm. 1 comment
There was …
The US Army transported the President of the United States from/to the White House when he needed to go to either Andrews AFB, Camp David or maybe even the Pentagon. This is evidenced in photographs taken in August of 1962 shown below:
President John F. Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline and son John Jr.
preparing to board helicopter ARMY ONE for a vacation.
And it was the US Army that provided the foundation of military aviation in the United States… there was a commemoration of the 100 years of military aviation held at Ft Myer VA in SEP 2008 marking the Wright Flyer’s first flights on Summerall Field.
Posted 4 years, 4 months ago at 3:18 am. 2 comments
It was today, the 22nd of NOVEMBER 1963 the event that shocked the United States and the world. I recall vividly while sitting in a classroom, the “voice from above” (we never knew who was on the intercom) announced that the President had been shot in Dallas…
Posted 4 years, 6 months ago at 11:23 am. Add a comment
– John F. Kennedy
35th President of the United States
Posted 4 years, 6 months ago at 11:00 pm. Add a comment